November 21, 2012

Review: Love is Darkness by Caroline Hanson

Series: Valerie Dearborn 1
Format: Digital
Release Date: August 27, 2011
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Valerie Dearborn wants a cotton candy life, but it’s more like a puffer fish: pointy, unusual, and—if not prepared exactly right—deadly.

In London for graduate school, Val knows she's finally free. Her father and ex-almost-boyfriend are back in California and she's out of the Vampire hunting biz for good. Or is she?

She draws the attention of Lucas, a 1600 year old Vampire, and King to his kind. He’s also wicked hot. As golden as Lucifer, and just as tempting, he makes Valerie an offer she can't refuse— help him find out if the Others (Empaths, Fey and Werewolves) still exist or he'll stop protecting those she loves.

Lucas tells her that Empaths were a Vampire’s biggest weakness before going extinct hundreds of years ago. While the Fey or a Werewolf might kill a Vampire, an Empath could enslave them, seducing or harming with emotions at will. The one detail he leaves out? Valerie is an Empath.

And after 1600 years of an emotionless existence, Lucas wants Valerie like a recovering alcoholic wants a wine cooler.

Can she keep those she loves alive, stop Lucas from munching on her, survive a fanged revolution and still find a way to have that boring, normal life she’s always wanted? Probably not, but boy is she gonna try!

I just literally finished LOVE IS DARKNESS, book 1 of Caroline Hanson's Valerie Dearborn series and usually I wait a couple of hours or even days before I write up my review so I can avoid rambling. Well I don't think it applies here because I am thrumming with excitement and I want to get this review out of the way so I can read book 2, Love is Fear, uninterrupted. 

Going in to LOVE IS DARKNESS I thought the series was YA so I put it on the back burner because I'm on a semi-YA ban and I'm bored with vampires so a combination of the two is not good. Well apparently I was wrong on that account because not only is this series for adults but CHanson kicked some serious ass with her vampires! I was glued to the pages for most of the day I was very engaged to the story and obviously, I really got invested in Valerie Dearborn's vampire hunting tale. The story starts by taking us back a couple of years to really solidify the backstories then moving to the present until it all came to a head in the vampire Challenge. The synopsis sums it up so I will not longer expound on the plot. 
Violence has touched you. Taken from you and you need to know your own strength in return.
Valerie Dearborn. This girl is smart, a little slutty and cunning. She's headstrong, guarded, defensive, a little impulsive and a very curious person which is the main reason why she's in the eye of the shitstorm with these unholy vampires and their nasty politics. She also has a lot of anger and resentment for her father and his unquenchable thirst for revenge against the vampires who killed Val's mom and by association, with Jack, Val's first love and her father's trusty sidekick. Valerie tried to hard to distinguish herself and shroud that part of her life, obviously it was a failed attempt because as Fate would have it, she can't shake these vampires and their hunters off no matter how hard she tries.

Jack and Lucas. these men are both gorgeous, dangerous and very seductive it's hard to choose which one is better. Jack is tall, dark, handsome and Italian, he's reliable, meticulous, very loyal and like Val, I want to give this guy my V-card (too bad it expired a looong time ago). The heat leaping off the pages from that Monopoly drinking game gave me a bad case of blue balls! I wanted to reach through the pages and shake him for pulling back when all I wanted for him to do is go in and finish the deed! And then there's Lucas who reminded me of V'Lane from Fever and Spike from Buffy. He's one of those Asshole Alphas Amanda was talking about in yesterday's guest blog post and though I'm not into vampires, I can see why Valerie is attracted to him. Being the King of his kind and living for over a millenia, Lucas is Power and Male, his veins pump testosterone. Jack is up for some serious competition against him not only in the romance department but in the battlefield as well. 
I see the life you have, what you have made for yourself and I want that for you. I am trying to be a good enough man to want that for you... do don't torture me with this. I'm not the white picket fence guy. I like you happy, carefree. You're my bright spot, the light in my life. And yeah, I read it in a Hallmark card but it's still true. - Jack

Boredom and ennue are the true dangers for a vampire over 500 years old. What is left to live for when everyone we have lived is long dead? relationships become repetitive and trite. We become exhausted. - Lucas
LOVE IS DARKNESS is a vivid and captivating story. CHanson went all out and didn't spare any details, she gave me lust, blood, gore, love, terror and hate among others. Aside from Val, Lucas and Jack, the villains were superb and the intrigue and conflict were well plotted. The pacing was a steady beat until it finally led to this big blow at the vampire Challenge. My jaw dropped from the merciless violence that  Lucas displayed and now I am craving for more. So see you tomorrow, I'm off to cracking open book 2! I hope I won't get blue balls this time.

NOTE: Big THANKS to my Matey, Michelle of Novels on the Run, for sending Caroline Hanson our way.


  1. It's the first time I'm hearing about this book but it sounds great! I'm adding it to my TBR.

    1. Lucas will seduce you (I'm saying this because I'm calling dibs on Jack!) LOL. It's really good, I hope you get to read it soon.

  2. I get tired of both YA and Vamps at times too, but I'm glad you gave this one a read because it sounds fantastic. A character that reminds you of it, freaking love it!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

    1. I'm reading book 2 now and I'm so invested in this. I am hating Val and loving her bed scenes with Lucas. I love the villainess, Rachel and I'm lusting for Jack.

  3. Woot!!! Told you this was an awesome series. I did have thoughts of V'Lane , but the more you read I thought he was a Barrons type through and through.

    Jenn has been throwing some awesome book recommendations my way , lately. I need another head to read them. So I threw Fever series at her and she can't stop reading it...hehe!!! Woot!!

    So glad you loved this. I was a bit nervous! I knew you would love it. How could you not. I have had to keep my mouth shut as I watch your comments on Goodreads, lol!!!

    Awwww it gets better!!!!


    1. p.s. Caroline Hanson is a wonderful Self Published find. She truly rocks it. Hold on to your panties in LOVE IS FEAR!!! whahhhhhh!!!!

      Awesome review I can tell how excited you are.


    2. p.s.s.s LOL!! trust me no blue balls in LIF...whahhhh!!

      Fans one self


    3. Lucas still reminds of V'Lane, seducing Valerie so she'd do his bidding. And yeah no blue balls but I so hate valerie now!

      Glad to know you got to recruit a new Fever fan. Hehehehe


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